National Bank donates $1.7M to Fuel Ground-breaking Health Research at the RI-MUHC

The National Bank’s donation to the MUHC Foundation will push the boundaries of microbiome research within the McGill Interdisciplinary Initiative in Infection and Immunity (MI4).

Montreal, October 18, 2023 — As part of its commitment to advancing medical research, National Bank has pledged $1.7M to the McGill Interdisciplinary Initiative in Infection and Immunity (MI4), a group of over 250 researchers committed to finding lifesaving solutions to infectious diseases. These researchers are based at the RI-MUHC and other top health research institutions in Montreal. This generous donation demonstrates National Bank’s commitment to fostering collaboration and innovation within the medical field, and will position Quebec as a global leader in microbiome research.

"The future of health care lies in pioneering research and collaboration. The Bank takes great pride in supporting the exceptional endeavours underway at MI4 and at the Research Institute of the MUHC. This is a life-changing health care initiative and we’re honoured to contribute to establishing Quebec as a world-class leader in cutting-edge medical research.”

—Michael Denham, Executive Vice-President Commercial and Private Banking at National Bank.

MI4 was created to address the growing problem of infectious and immune diseases and was on the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic response. Within MI4, an important research initiative is currently focusing on the microbiome. Led by Irah King, PhD, Director of the McGill Centre for Microbiome Research, the microbiome refers to all micro-organisms—bacteria, viruses, fungi—that live on or inside us. Professor King and his colleagues at the RI-MUHC and McGill University are conducting research that challenges traditional perceptions of microbes by demonstrating the ways they can be beneficial to our health.

"The microbes we are exposed to as babies help educate our immune systems and influence our health throughout life. They set the tone for how our bodies respond to everything from the food we eat to infections we may experience later in life. Understanding the ways in which our “microbial self” shapes our health across the lifespan will lead to new treatments for some of the most devastating diseases that we face. National Bank’s gift will undoubtedly serve as a catalyst for exciting discoveries.”

—Irah King, PhD, Director of the McGill Centre for Microbiome Research

The microbiome is so influential in our health that researchers believe it plays a role in the development of illnesses from heart disease to depression, fibromyalgia and Alzheimer’s disease.

"Microbiome research has the potential to unlock a vast array of new knowledge about our health. Scientists want to understand what makes up a healthy microbiome, how it affects our physical and mental health, and how we can apply this information to the fight against disease.”

—Dr. Marcel Behr, Director of the McGill Interdisciplinary Initiative in Infection and Immunity

The MI4 team is especially grateful to National Bank and values their commitment to streamlining health care innovations in Quebec. Their gift to the MUHC Foundation will fund several other very promising projects in health research, including one that explores early-life events and how they shape our health later in life. National Bank’s support will propel the MUHC and Montreal to the forefront of innovative medicine, enabling the researchers of MI4 to conduct incredible, life-altering research that will impact lives in Quebec and abroad.

“At the MUHC Foundation, we firmly believe that innovation and collaboration are the cornerstones of progress, and we know that National Bank shares that vision. We are beyond grateful for their generosity and deeply admire their commitment to securing Quebec’s spot as a global leader in innovative medical research. Our Foundation is proud to support the MI4 team in their cutting-edge work.”

—Marie-Hélène Laramée, President and CEO of the MUHC Foundation

Make a donation in support of MI4 today:

Marie-Hélène Laramée named President and CEO of the MUHC Foundation